Welcome to fall

By Molly Harrison | Monday, September 20, 2010
Grape stomping at the Currituck Music & Wine Fest

I was feeling a little robbed that the last weekend of summer (fall begins on Thursday) coincided with the red NO SWIMMING flags. Thanks, Igor. * But I didn't feel too sorry for myself because we had an epic afternoon on the beach last week, and there is still hope for many upcoming dips in the ocean. * Besides, this fall-like weather is incredibly energizing...

Hey, did you hear that Dare County's vacation rental receipts hit an all-time high during July? The Visitors Bureau reported recently that occupancy receipts for rentals (hotel rooms, cottages and camping sites) were up 8.42 percent over last July for the highest level ever recorded. * Visitors, it was great to have you here all summer, but we sure are loving being able to grocery shop on the weekends again...

So, let's see: We've got great weather, happy business owners, low accommodations prices because it's officially the off-season, no crowds AND a ton of fun stuff to do this week (the list on our site gets longer every day). * If I didn't already live here, I'd be headed this way...

If I were you, I'd celebrate the first week of fall by doing something outside. * Look to the National Park Service, the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education in Corolla or Jockey's Ridge State Park in Nags Head for interesting programs and events, most all of them outdoor oriented...

By the way, the National Park Service Visitor Center hours have change to the off-season schedule - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. * The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will be open for climbing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; tickets are sold from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The last day to climb the lighthouse is October 11...

Going on all week in Hatteras are the Eastern Surfing Association Championships in Buxton. Contest headquarters is Natural Art Surf Shop, and the surfing contest - free and open to spectators - can be watched by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse jetties...

There's a crazy amount of stuff going on here this week. Seriously, I'm overwhelmed just trying to blog it. * I know you're busy so I'm going to have to keep the highlights short and sweet:

Couple of things on Tuesday: The N.C. Coastal Federation and other partners are celebrating National Estuaries Day at Jockey's Ridge State Park. They'll be marking the completion of the first phase of a project to restore park shoreline - more than 400 feet of shoreline and an acre of coastal marsh were created by several organizations and volunteers. * The Dare Coalition Against Substance Abuse's Annual Community Summit is at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Breakfast, awards and interactive discussions. Call 449-2272 for info. * The Children and Youth Partnership will present "Help! My Child Won't Listen" parenting class on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the YMCA...

This is a big deal: On Thursday, Dan Gediman, nationally known motivational storyteller and co-editor of "This I Believe" is speaking in Dare County - 1 p.m. at Dare County Center in Manteo and 7 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk. It's free. You may have heard him on NPR's All Things Considered, This American Life, etc. * To reserve a place call Dare Education Foundation at 255-5545...

Lots to do on the weekend. Take your pick...

To celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, admission is free to the Wright Brothers National Memorial. * Also, volunteers on Hatteras Island will be sweeping the beaches of litter from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 987-1303 for info...

Frisco Native American Museum & Natural History Center is offering free admission for Museum Day on Saturday. It will be free to visit on Saturday if you visit Smithsonian.com and download a Museum Day Admission Card...

The inaugural Get Pumped for Pink 10K on Saturday at 8 a.m. will raise funds for breast-cancer awareness. It starts at Knuckle Up in Kitty Hawk and there's a party afterward. You might be able to register the day of, but you should go ahead and do it now at www.outerbanksrunningclub.org...

The 1st Annual Walk Against Addiction, at 9 a.m. at First Flight High School in KDH on Saturday will support awareness that addition is a treatable disease and that recovery is possible. Call 202.1110 to register...

Inner Banks Hotline is sponsoring a Ride to End Domestic Violence (for motorcycles) - 144 miles from Columbia to Lake Mattamuskeet, Alligator River and back to Columbia. It's $10 to register. Call 796-5526 for info...

Saturday's good-time event is the Currituck Music & Wine Fest at Sanctuary Vineyards at The Cotton Gin in Jarvisburg. They'll have food and wine (duh), live music (9:58 and Mercy Creek), grape-stomping contests and more. It'll go on from noon to 6 p.m...

If you're still going after all that, the Otuer Banks Forum is presenting the Richmond Ballet at First Flight High School Saturday night. Cost is $25 adults and $12 for students. Call 255-2274 for tickets and info...

On Sunday, head to the Outer Banks Brewing Station from 1 to 9 p.m. for the Beach Angels for Bela Fundraiser to benefit local teenager Isabela Rainey who has been in the hospital since July 31 following a brain aneurysm. Even if you don't know Bela, come by for a good time. * In the back yard, from 1 to 6 p.m., there will be music, barbecue, kids activities including a bounce house and Beach Bungee Trampoline, and crafts. Inside, starting at 6 p.m. there will be live music with Laura Martier, Ruth Wyand Band and Joe Mapp and the Coordinates, plus a silent auction until 7 p.m...

Roanoke Island Festival Park is hosting the Lyric Brass Quintet on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Indoor Theatre. * Also, the Outer Banks Family YMCA is having an open house on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m., with kids' activities and games from 2 to 4 p.m...

And finally, adventurous women are signing up for the Wild Women on the Outer Banks retreat sponsored by the N.C. Aquarium and The Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Woods Preserve. * It's being held October 15-17 and will include photography, kayaking, wild edibles and more programs that focus on our connections to the natural world. Yours truly will be teaching daily yoga. * Call 473-3494 ext. 266...

About the Author Molly Harrison
Molly Harrison is managing editor at OneBoat, publisher of OuterBanksThisWeek.com. She moved to Nags Head in 1994 and since then has made her living writing articles and creating publications about the people, places and culture of the Outer Banks. When not working she practices and teaches yoga and spends as much time as possible outside and in or on the water with her husband and two children.